Don’t miss this incredible word from Paul David Tripp: “PEOPLE — You should be thankful for the people whom God places in your life. You should love them dearly. You should treat them with honor and respect. You should do all you can to maintain the unity and peace of your relationship. You should be willing to give generously and serve sacrificially. You should be humble as they speak truth into your life. BUT … you cannot look to people to provide for you what only Christ can provide.”
There are many, many Christian relationships that are painful and marked by conflict and disappointment because one person, or both people, in those relationships are placing a burden on the other person that no human can bear:
- No person can be the foundation of your identity
- No person can provide the source for your joy
- No person can give you a reason to get up in the morning
- No person can give you a reason to continue in the midst of difficulty
- No person can be the carrier of your hope
- No person can give your heart peace and rest
- No person can change you from the inside out
- No person can alter your past
- No person can atone for your wrongs
AND YET … we have all asked someone, at some point and in some way, to be the fourth member of the Trinity for us!
It’s simply a relationship doomed for failure. When we ask a person to do for us what only Christ can do, we place a crushing and impossible burden on them, and then judge them when they fall short.
It’s vital to remember that human love is a wonderful thing – you should pursue people who love you, and you should be pursued by people because you’re loving. But you will only ever find life – real, heart-changing, soul-satisfying life – in a vertical relationship with one Person (capital P).
Only Christ can be your source of spiritual vitality and strength. Only Christ can save you, change you and deliver you from you. One Christ can give your soul what it’s desperately seeking.
Could it be that the disappointment you experience in your relationships is the product of unrealistic and unattainable expectations? Could it be that you have unwittingly put people in God’s place? Could it be that you ask the people to do what only Christ can do for you?
There is but one Savior, and He is yours forever. You don’t need to put that burden on the person next to you.
- What person, or people, are you thankful that God has placed in your life? Why?
- Is there a way in which you’re looking to them for what only Christ can provide?
- How have your past relationships suffered as a result of your unrealistic and unattainable expectations? What can you change moving forward?
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